While the causative role of diet in acne hasn’t been proved yet, studies have definitely shown that it does influence the course of acne in patients, to varying degrees. The following recommendations have been strengthened via scientific studies:
1. Milk and dairy products
Studies have shown an association between milk/dairy products and acne. They tend to influence and bring about hormonal changes in the body, worsening acne in some patients.
2. High glycemic index food
Research has shown that foods belonging to the high glycemic index category can cause changes in insulin sensitivity and hormonal variations, all leading to worsening of acne. Foods to avoid include corn syrup, sugar, white flour(maida), refined grains, sauces, ketchup, sodas, sports drinks, juices, etc. Consume a diet rich in seasonal fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts , whole grains, legumes and natural sources of healthy fats.
3. Omega 3 fatty acids
They are renowned for their anti-inflammatory effect and help in the prevention and treatment of acne. Food rich in omega 3 fatty acids include – salmon, cod liver oil, oysters, soya bean, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds etc
Zinc is a trace mineral and plays a considerable role in acne severity. Dietary sources of zinc include meat, poultry, fish and seafood as well as pumpkin seeds, cashews, quinoa, and lentils.
While there is no doubt that certain foods can help/worsen acne, we are far off from a food ‘cure’ for it. Before modifying your diet, it is important to talk to your doctor to make sure any changes you make don’t negatively affect your health.
Overall, the best diet advice in dealing with acne appears to be eating a wholesome, balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy and lean protein sources, and whole grains.